What are some things that only someone who has been an auto mechanic for more than 10 years would know?

Updated on : December 6, 2021 by Josh Hall



What are some things that only someone who has been an auto mechanic for more than 10 years would know?

I'm not sure that ten years is long enough for a modern technology to learn much more than the basics and many electronic diagnostic methods. But an experienced mechanic would know how to properly fit a set of heads for different sized engines, as well as how to "mark" a camshaft. He would know what dip sticks and emulsion tubes are. How to properly set the "kickback" in a differential and how to rebuild a transmission. Most of today's "technicians" are not trained to perform internal repairs on many of the separate parts of a vehicle. They can no longer rebuild

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I'm not sure that ten years is long enough for a modern technology to learn much more than the basics and many electronic diagnostic methods. But an experienced mechanic would know how to properly fit a set of heads for different sized engines, as well as how to "mark" a camshaft. He would know what dip sticks and emulsion tubes are. How to properly set the "kickback" in a differential and how to rebuild a transmission. Most of today's "technicians" are not trained to perform internal repairs on many of the separate parts of a vehicle. They can no longer rebuild brake boosters or power steering pumps and it's not because they don't want to, but by design, manufacturers don't want them to. They would rather have the technician just find the faulty part and replace the entire unit as a complete assembly.

Auto mechanics is as much a matter of feel as it is of the ability to replace components. When they know exactly how a part works from the inside out, they can diagnose a problem much faster than if they just relied on general symptoms. Most of us "old men" can test drive a car with a brake system problem and know just by "feeling" whether it is a master cylinder, a brake caliper, a brake cylinder. Defective wheel or air in hydraulics. We have learned to tell if an engine misfire is an electrical or fuel system problem simply by the smell of the exhaust, or to diagnose a steering problem by "feel." steering and how the vehicle responds to driving. That's the kind of thing that comes with many years of experience.

Since manufacturers own the patent rights to every part of the vehicles they make, with the exception of things like tires, hoses, and windshield wipers. They can control what repair parts are available, and by limiting those parts, technicians also limit what they can repair. Since the advent of federal emission and safety standards, a miracle has happened, and somehow today's vehicles don't seem to need the same repairs as before. Years ago valve jobs and piston ring and bearing jobs were fairly common and, along with suspension systems, were the "bread and butter" of most service departments. And the service department of any car dealership is the most profitable area of ​​the business,

Educating mechanics costs millions of dollars, but no training is required to create outrageously expensive parts. Remember when a fan belt cost $ 5 and took five minutes to replace? No more, belts can cost between $ 50 and $ 150 and some of them can take hours to replace. And replace the spark plugs when they cost about a dollar each and could be changed in less than an hour? No more. Spark plugs are five to ten times more expensive and replacing them in some vehicles requires lowering the entire engine and can cost upwards of $ 800. Fuel pumps that used to be externally mounted are now located in the fuel tank and many of them are now require removal of the entire tank to replace the pump,

They tout better performance, economy, and safety as reasons, but everyone knows their only purpose is to make a profit. And as any large long-term corporation knows, its profit line must constantly increase to keep its investors happy. When market saturation happens, as it always does in any business, ask Microsoft or Apple, and sales start to decline, they must find a way to make higher profits. And it always comes down to the simple fact that they need to charge the consumer more and give them less. Plastic parts and offshore suppliers where there are no pollution or safety laws like OSHA regulating working conditions. And questionable manufacturing processes and poorly paid workers keep costs low and allow retailers to make huge profits. Explosive airbags, vehicles bursting into flames as they drive down the highway, cars that suddenly decide to go full throttle when put in gear are the perfect examples of products from unregulated offshore vendors. But manufacturers still demand greater safety, economy and value even though the price of a new car is higher than ever.

So it is true that more experienced technicians know more than newcomers, but what they have to learn from are not very good examples of automotive technology at its best, just technology in its most complicated and expensive form and with options for very limited repair.

Modern cars are so driven by electronics and technology, that a modern technology must be skilled in understanding each system and how to interpret a diagnostic code.

Some common codes such as a P0300 (misfire) code can be caused by many different things. A newbie will start troubleshooting individual parts and systems, such as fuel injectors, spark plugs, or crankshaft sensor, when it could be something simple like a dirty MAF (Mass Air Flow) sensor or even contaminated fuel. Some codes are also common for certain makes, models, and years of vehicles.

If you get a code for a bad camera position, please send

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Modern cars are so driven by electronics and technology, that a modern technology must be skilled in understanding each system and how to interpret a diagnostic code.

Some common codes such as a P0300 (misfire) code can be caused by many different things. A newbie will start troubleshooting individual parts and systems, such as fuel injectors, spark plugs, or crankshaft sensor, when it could be something simple like a dirty MAF (Mass Air Flow) sensor or even contaminated fuel. Some codes are also common for certain makes, models, and years of vehicles.

If you get a code for a faulty camera position sensor, that doesn't necessarily mean the sensor is faulty. It is more likely a worn cam timing belt.

After a few years of seeing the same things, you begin to develop an apparent intuition about what the problem is. It's not really intuition, but rather experience, but it definitely gives you an edge over newer technology entering the field.

Common sounds and smells are an easy way to find an apparent problem. Things like a power steering system hum, a squeaky brake, a roar in a wheel, or a belt squeal when the air conditioning is on are pretty simple to spot and diagnose. The smell of antifreeze inside the car is obviously a leaking heater core.

A loose gas cap that throws a CEL (Check Engine Light) is another fairly easy search and repair. Some things you just learn to look for ...

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